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International Law Research

Starting points to either collect international law sources or conduct in-depth public international law research.

Source Collection

International tribunal decisions can generally be located in one of a few databases of decisions, through sources compiling the decisions of a particular tribunal, or at the tribunal's website. Refer to Bluebook Rule 21.5 on international law cases to learn more about citation formats and preferred sources.

Searching across tribunals

Databases for searching across the decisions of multiple tribunals:

Decisions from selected tribunals

Individual tribunal decisions may be located at the tribunal's website or in specialized databases. Selected resources and tribunals are covered below. Use your preferred search engine to locate tribunal websites and specialized databases not listed.

International Court of Justice
European Union Courts
Iran, Rwanda, Yugoslavia Tribunals
Permanent Court of Arbitration
World Trade Organization

Cases in Foreign Courts

Consult the Foreign Law Research guide, in particular the "Cases" tab, to locate cases published in foreign, as opposed to international, courts. Key decisions on international law issues in foreign courts may also be available in Oxford Reports on International Law in Domestic Courts and/or International Law Reports (see above).

Researching Cases

Remember, judicial decisions are a subsidiary means of determining international law according to the ICJ Statute Article 38(1).

Similar to U.S. legal research, running keyword searches for cases at the start of your research can lead to overwhelming results and it can be hard to sift through them without context. Starting with secondary sources and determining which tribunals are most relevant for your situation will help you locate key cases in a targeted manner, then you can expand your research from those cases.

Additional Guides